Long post coming up... so here's a song to whistle your way through it..
Originally when I came on board, my intention was to really push the whole metaphor idea in the film. I really liked the film as an embodiment of when you just lose it mentally and feel like being a bull in a china shop on your way down... I wanted the ending to be the old man in the cabin, furious at his encapsulation by this gripping fear, thrashing about destroying what he had. I wanted him to seem like he just couldnt continue anymore, and I wanted, by that point, the audience to clearly realise that the whole struggle was a mental issue rather than any sort of physical one. I wanted him to not only be angry and aggressive, but upset, at his end, teary eye'd and tired.
That dwindled as time went on, we decided to have him outside the cabin at the end, so my above idea wouldn't really work in that situation. As the project developed along with the weeks, the rudimentary aim became more about 'getting it done', getting the shots down. I think perhaps the audience will register some of the above intention, but its so hard to say. I feel like its harder to know whether an idea is consistent in the film when you are so close to it.. 'cant see the wood from the trees' sums it up. (ta to Rosa for that one)
However anywho, here's my goals for the film:
I wanna get better at animation. Simple really? I can already see the difference, no so much in my work but in my opinion. I used to be less confident with it. I think this is the main problem with our course, we don't animate nearly enough. If you ask most people in the 3rd year if they like animating/if there up for animating, they say they're not very good at it or cant do it. This is really poor for students of an animation course to feel this way in their third year. The antidote? Just do it. I think this is what alot of the Kernel crew have found, eg Jake wouldn't have been up for it, but he has pressed on, and look at what he can do, and what's more, look at what he has realised he can do. This is how we should be coming out the course feeling, and I think currently most people in the class do not feel this way.
I wanted to get better in the industrial sense too. A big part of animation is the ability to knuckle down and crack on with it. You're half labourer half artist really. You can't just flunk off if the juices dont flow, you have to roll up the sleeves and get on with it.
Get it finished
Else what's the point? I may aswell be on the beach.
Make people feel emotion definitely.. I want them to feel that genuine horrorifying feeling... that terror that comes on slow and you want to leave but cant look away.. leaves you frozen. I dont want to just resort to cheap jumps 'scary movie' style. Genuine horrific feeling to me is best epitomised in Psycho... not in the shower scene, but in the last scene, where Bates is sat in the police station and the camera slowly trains in.
Im not a big horror movie fan mainly because they usually just resort to the cheap tricks (scary movie style) and I dont watch them often because of this, so hopefully we can have a good attempt at this.
Horrorified isn't the only feeling I want to command.. I want people to feel sorry for the character breaking down on screen. This is the biggest challenge for me I think, because it involves genuine acting with the character. I feel like i've got away with alot of the film thus far not having to 'act', most shots are short for me (3 seconds average) and its the character moving from A to B. Acting involved, but more in the characterisation sense.. 'This is how he moves', 'this is how he stands' etc. I'm really chomping at the bit to get going on one specific shot, which is the apex of the characters emotion, when he gives in to the 'dark' and goes under. If I can create emotion here i'll be really happy.
Animation isn't typical for enticing strong negative emotion in adults. I can't think of alot of examples where it has, except for Toy Story 3 and past Disney films (eg, Bambi's mum). I think one thing i'd really like to tackle throughout my life is using animation for creating strong emotion in film. It's up for debate whether it can rouse stronger emotion than film can... Film has going for it that (surely I presume) we naturally feel a greater sense of empathy for human beings.. It comes down to an atavistic response to feel sympathy for someone who appears hurt. However as a counter to this, i'd say one thing animation has in its favour is that by limiting the visuals and making them more iconic (less detailed, therefore more 'specific' of what's important - EG, the smiley face) the audience are quicker to understand the feeling, quicker to read it.
It's just a hunch but I suppose that it is possible for animation to trump film in this department. Another thing that it has going for it is the complete control we animators have. We can manipulate each and every frame, making emotion stronger. I think that's very useful when you think of the gentle nuiances of the human face.. a split second (or in our terms.. 3 outta 24fps) expression can tell the viewer of a hidden secret, a lie, an alterier motif, etc.
As far as I know, Disney have come closest at pulling at the heart strings, here's a really good example:
If anyone's got an opinion on this or know's a better example of animations acting possibilities, please please post below.
Get better in other areas
Eg collaboration, team management, communication etc. These are things that I hadn't considered when joining Mig's project, but have come to light during. I've half-heartedly handled some of the 'producer' roles, mainly just in the document sense (sheduling, shot lists, etc etc)
Collaboration though also in another sense besides communicating, collaboration of ability. I think me and Mig are both consistently 'good' at what we do, but working together I hope we can push onto the next plateau and make something 'great'. Maybe this whole film wont be great, maybe it'll be a load of rubbish, but hopefully there'll be a few gems in there. Also in relation to this, am really looking forward to Grethe getting her teeth into the colouring now that the block colouring is completely caught up with the animation. Her job now is to work on shadow/highlights, so am very keen to see what she cooks up.
That about sums it up.
I feel like we're about 70% done on the film. I'm nearing the end of the animation.. I'm hoping to bosh it out within two weeks. I have 14 or so more shots to do, so atleast one a day from now on. I've also taken on the editing, it was just temporary but tbh am quite happy doing it. I've had a few issues, but nothing to much, and plus its a nice alternative to animating - collating the recent work and then seeing how its coming along. Emily is coming on board tomorrow, which means the block colouring will keep right on my heels, while Grethe catches up with the highlighting. Also, the effects are starting to pick up, Kirk has been very pro-active and is cracking on with some, and the twins (Kai & Liam) are also working on some bits.